Master of Music in Composition


Program Overview

The Conservatory’s composition master’s program offers experienced student composers the comprehensive training and live performance opportunities needed to continue the development of their individual voices and refine their composition styles. The program is unique in the number of opportunities students have to collaborate with fellow artists and hear their works performed live—in a given year, there are 30 scheduled recitals and concerts that exclusively premiere student compositions.

Students are supported by a diverse faculty of esteemed composers, who encourage students to explore and experiment, while also helping them to better communicate artistically. Through the exploration of various styles and aesthetics, students develop the ability to realize their own artistic goals.

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What It Takes to Succeed

Students in the Conservatory’s graduate composition program are inspired by a variety of musical styles and genres, and are open to exploration of new and emerging compositional mediums. They challenge themselves to be analytical thinkers and inventive composers, and to create works that speak to today’s audiences. 

Core Curriculum

In their first year, graduate composition students expand on their artistic skills and compositional techniques, while both shoring up and continuing to build their knowledge of music history, theory, piano proficiency, and technique. They participate in weekly composition seminars where they explore a variety of professional and artistic topics relating to composition. Students receive weekly composition lessons with their studio teacher, in which they are challenged to think creatively and to explore and shape their compositional voice.

In the second year, students continue their academic studies in both contextual and analytical electives and seminars covering a wide range and ever-changing list of topics. The capstone projects include the graduate thesis, which is a substantial work demonstrating their command of musical materials and instrumentation, as well as a degree recital, which showcases a selection of their original compositions for a public audience. For their degree recital, students are responsible for coordinating with their fellow student instrumentalists and vocalists to produce a program of music that showcases their unique skills and abilities.

Your Future

Your Boston Conservatory education prepares you to work at the highest level with large and small ensembles and solo performers, collaborating on commissioned pieces, concert series, and interdisciplinary works. Our graduates have pursued a variety of paths, from advanced study in music composition, sound design, and other relevant fields, to work in film and media composition, administrative roles with arts organizations, and more.

How to apply